OCZ Vector 150 SSD review

OCZ Vector 150 SSD

Toshiba invented NAND flash at the end of the 1980s, although it may not be the first company you’d think of when looking for an SSD today. Rather than create its own brand of SSDs, it bought one – the bankrupt OCZ Technology Group. Also see: What's the best SSD 2014

The OCZ Vector 150 was developed before Toshiba picked up the company’s assets in January 2014, and still stands at the top of the OCZ range above the more affordable Vector 450 and 460 ranges.

Front and centre in the OCZ SSD is the Barefoot 3 controller, a proprietary device based on technology OCZ had bought with Indilinx. This is an ARM Cortex-based solution with OCZ’s own Aragon co-processor, able to drive eight channels of NAND. As with many SSDs, the full capacity has been slightly reduced, aiding long-term longevity and short-term sustained write performance. So our 512GB-class drive has 480GB available to users (447GB for Windows users).

OCZ offers a five-year warranty on the Vector 150, or 50GB per day over that period, equivalent to 91TB of written data.

Build quality is impressive. At 116g, the drive is heavier than most 2.5in SATA hard disks, a solid-feeling lump of cast alloy in a smart blue and black finish. As we’d expect of any premium SSD, the OCZ Vector 150 strolled the simple sequential test, returning peak numbers of 557MB/s reads and 534MB/s writes. And in the nominal overall scoring of AS SSD, the Vector 150 was awarded 1086 points.

Digging deeper through the results, we find great IOPS figures from the same benchmark, 88k for reads and 82k for writes IOPS. These numbers were conspicuously trumped at the lower queue depth available to CrystalDiskMark, which allowed almost 93k read IOPS and 95k write IOPS with its threaded 4kB random data tests.

OCZ points out that its drives happily withstand the steady-state edge cases of data continuously writing without pause, and in our write test with HD Tune Pro, we did indeed see a precipitous drop from around 480 to a constant 200MB/s write speed. But while the speed more than halved, the new lower trace remained relatively steady, a sign of well-mannered behaviour under duress.

The OCZ Vector 150 is a solid-feeling and impressively performing SSD. It compares well with Intel’s latest performance drive, yet is closer to 50p per gigabyte rather than 75p. At that price, it deserves a strong recommendation.

OUR VERDICT

The OCZ Vector 150 is a solid-feeling and impressively performing SSD. It compares well with Intel’s latest performance drive, yet is closer to 50p per gigabyte rather than 75p. At that price, it deserves a strong recommendation.